Over the past 12 years and countless nautical miles Raincoast’s dedicated research vessel Achiever has clocked in over 10,000 engine hours plying coastal waters to support our research, education and conservation programs. 2017 was no different with Achiever spending 7 months during spring, summer, and fall in the Great Bear Rainforest and the Salish Sea.
In May, our spring ‘hunts’ visited lush estuaries as the days grew longer and bears were down low grazing on sedges. Marine wildlife started to make their way back to the rich, cold waters of the coast. Their annual migration to foraging areas beginning and lasting well into fall.
Summer months saw research work on humpback entanglements with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Achiever surveyed 1,200 nautical miles of BC’s north and central coast waters during that two-week period. Our involvement in the Koeye Kids camp continued in partnership with Qqs (eyes) Projects Society. The annual Heiltsuk camp has always been a highlight of Achiever’s schedule as crew join forces with colleagues, researchers from Raincoast’s Salmon Carnivore Project. On the basis of consilience, Achiever becomes a platform for youth engagement in contemporary science and traditional knowledge, culture, and history.
As the days became shorter, the boat was back in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest to revisit rivers and estuaries as they swelled with salmon while bears came down to feed. Our fall ‘hunt’ preceded the new provincial government’s decision to end trophy hunting of grizzlies throughout British Columbia. In 2018, we will once again visit these areas where we now hope to end trophy hunting of all large carnivores, including black bears, wolves, and cougars.
You can help us take the next step and safeguard coastal carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Last fall we finished the season in the Salish Sea as Achiever transformed into a floating classroom for Raincoast’s Salish Sea Emerging Stewards Program. Sailing through the Gulf Islands and Indian Arm, we worked with indigenous and at-risk youth to engage them with conservation and stewardship issues relevant to the Salish Sea.
Maybe you can join us in 2018 and learn more about conservation work from Raincoast staff and our community partners. You can join Achiever as a guest ‘hunter’ or charter the vessel.
See our Achiever page for trip dates.
Next season is beginning to shape up for Achiever. Her work will continue supporting researchers in the marine field, helping inform media and supporters around issues on the coast, and continuing to inspire our future stewards of this beautiful coast.
For Achiever and the coast she sails.